Appraisals – to be or not to be?

Many businesses avoid appraisals on the basis that if everything seems fine, why waste time when we have work to get on with?

However, with many employees still working from home for some or all of their time, a good appraisal system is now more important than ever before.


Employers are not legally obliged to conduct appraisals but failure to assess performance and provide feedback can have several ramifications; how can an employer objectively justify who should receive pay increases and bonuses or tell an employee that they need to improve?


Appraisals should have some basis of measurement which is consistent. In the event of an employment claim, objective data is compelling when linked to appraisals. Anything that is quantitative data, including fee income, number of calls made, will be difficult to challenge. However, tribunals accept that employees are not robots and therefore it is reasonable for employers to also use subjective criteria such as attitude, potential, etc. They would expect the scores for these criteria to be backed up with evidence which is measured consistently amongst colleagues.


It may also be important to obtain feedback from those who work closely with the employee which may include those in other departments.


It is also important that appraisals are used not just to praise employees but also to provide constructive feedback where there is a problem. This gives employers the perfect platform to formally performance manage if things do not improve.


Appraisals are a keen component of recruitment and retention as well as keeping employers out of the employment tribunal. Employers should ideally:


  • Make appraisal questions and/or scoring as objective as possible
  • Consider having two managers moderate the scores
  • Obtain views from those who work with the employee and do not limit to personal experiences
  • Appraise regularly
  • Not forget about absent employees


Should you be considering training on how to conduct Appraisals for your managers/supervisors/team leaders then 121 HR Solutions can deliver this for you, contact discuss further.

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